Filing a wrongful death lawsuit can be complicated. The following elements must be proven to establish the course of action.
Duty of Care
The plaintiff must show the court that the defendant owes a duty of care to the decedent. For example, in a defective product case, the manufacturer has to ensure that he had issued any necessary warnings in relation to the use of the product.
Breach of Duty of Care
The plaintiff must prove that the defendant failed to meet the standard of due care. In a car accident for example, there must be evidence showing the defendant did not observe due care when he struck the decedent, such as driving under the influence or at high speeds
There must be proof that the defendant’s conduct directly caused the death. In a medical malpractice case, for instance, the plaintiff must prove that the decedent died of cancer because the doctor failed to meet the standards of health care in handling such a disease. If the death was caused by the decedent’s own doing, however─ such as not taking the prescribed medicine or using drugs that aggravates the condition─ then the defendant could have a better chance for acquittal.
The plaintiff must also prove that that the decedent actually suffered financial damages. This can be easily measured if the decedent spent considerable sums for health insurance and other related expenses.